April 24, 2014

Live Blogging Twitter, Real Time Search & SEO

Session 1 out of the way. Met Matt Cutts, found some water, and stole a press seat in the front row with a power strip! Seeing how this session is about Real time SEO, I should probably live blog it. What’s more real time than that?

Danny started out by telling us what search is. Thanks Danny. He’s not telling us what search marketing is about. We all know this, and yet strangely most of us gave the same presentation to a cabbie on the way here this morning.

Normal Search, blah blah blah we all know this. No need to summarize here. But what is real time search?

A key difference between normal search and real time search, is that with real time search you know exactly who’s asking. That’s what happens on Twitter. Unlike how Google is many to many, real time search is one to one. You see the tweet, and reply to the tweet.

Danny’s talking about “anyone know” searches. I’ve done a bunch of these in the past – with very little replies. He’s talking about an experiment where he answered questions with links, and actually got thanked!

Yes, Twitter nofollows links, but that nofollow falls off on all the places using the API or scraping twitter. I’ve tested this personally and it’s worked greatly.

Even though it’s called real time search, relevancy is still king. Relevant > Recent. Relevant results can even get more “hang time” in search results.

YourOpenBook.com – plenty of marketing or nepharious potential.

Stew Langille from Mint is taking the podium now. I’ve always been a big fan of Mint – having used it during beta.

Stew is talking about developing strong content for real time SEO. Trending topics, news, financial trends, etc all make strong topics for Mint. Talks about seeing search for “trillion dollars” back during auto bailouts and creating a video – that ranked well in real time results. To me, this is somewhere small agencies can shine, as a large company could never pull off a same time video.

Mint also tailors content specifically to communities like Digg (example: the renter’s manifesto.)

RT @AdrianEden: No matter how well you do something, if you do it in a boring fashion no one cares.

Q&A is a big part of real time search. Mint has developed their own yahoo answers style section. Noticing many sites developing more real estate to Q&A.

Mint uses APIs from google trends, and twitter as well as free tools like Klout.com and Hootsuite (I hate hootsuite) Theory: Build what you can’t buy, the data and APIs are out there.

Danny’s back on the podium. Believe it or not, Google IS a real time search engine. However it’s hard to guage traffic from those links that show up in real time search. Cute: advance internet and John Shehata. They run Mlive.com, a favorite site of mine as well as 25 newspapers that you’ve probably heard of.

Real time ranking factors:
Author Quality + Site Authority / Trust + Relevancy

For many things like Twitter, facebook, myspace, etc traditional ranking signals just don’t exist.

Thinks to consider: User authority, blogging freshness, number of followers, quality of followers, ratio of followers, URL real time resolution. Retweets in the last day, minute, hour.

SEO Things that don’t really apply to real time search: Number of links, domain authority, quality of links, inbound vs outbound links, link neighborhoods.

It’s not about how many followers you have, but how reputable those followers are. @pageoneresults has been screaming this for years.

Try running your account through Twitalyzer to see your influence.

Engagement is NOT a huge factor when it comes to ranking. my note: but don’t discount engagement when it comes to measuring ROI.

OK so how do I get into real time search?
Google has a firehose from twitter. A quick way to check to see if you are included is to go to twitter and search for from:username

Make it easy for users to share your links, tweets, statuses, etc – but don’t overdo it by adding 50 little icons. John recommends limiting it to 5. The easier the better, twitter API, twitter box, etc.

It’s all about encouraging retweets. saying “please retweet” actually works. Also keep content short to leave room for the RT @username stuff.

Connect your social profiles from site to site. I do that here: ryanmjones.com

Monitor hot trends. Spammers do this well – so should you. Do you have a calendar of seasonal search trends that relate to your business? Queries like IRS address happen yearly. People search for movie times on saturdays. Are you prepared?

If you’re not using Google trends, you need to be. Let’s you know all kinds of useful information like who broke the story, the top links, how many mentions, etc.

Things Not To Do:
Don’t spam has tags by putting them all into the same tweet. #smx #mileycyrus #bp #oil
Don’t abuse URL shortening services
Don’t have several twitter accounts on the same IP
Don’t post spammy looking tweets (there goes my whole account)

You can track real time search results in analytics packages by looking for google.com/url?q= in the referer. Nice find!

Hugo Chavez went from associating Twitter with Terror, to hiring 200 people to manage his twitter account calling it a “weapon that needs to be used by the revolution.” Hugo Chavez cracks me up.

Don’t spam the world to create ambient buzz. You need a human behind your twitter stream. It’s all about smart automation. You need to be engaged.

The thing I can’t fathom is that people still tweet asking for cheap hotels and airfare. I always assumed most people already know where to look. Spam idea: tweet keyword relevant questions so that you can answer them with your corporate account?

Instead of creating several twitter accounts, try creating granular twitter lists and promoting those.

Let’s talk about our tools (giggity)
Twitterfeed was mentioned. dlvr.it seems to have a nice feature set. closely.com could be good for small businesses offering specials.

Chris says he knows blackhatters watching google trends and google news to pick hot topics to mention. He’s right, I know several people in this room who do exactly that.

MattMcgee doesn’t like using automated tweet tools. I agree – we can only take so much Guy Kawasaki in our lives. (update: danny made this comment a few minutes after I just did. I’m glad we agree)

Danny Sullivan referred to new style retweet as “blech” The panel seems to be split on their preferred method. I prefer the old style where everybody sees it.

One thing I’d like to see in twitter is topicality over time. How can we know how often Danny Sullivan tweets about pizza? Has he mentioned it the past? We currently don’t know.

My thoughts & summary: There seems to be a fine line between properly using real time search and spamming – and most of it has to do with whether or not your users find you helpful. When it comes down to it, real time search is similar to normal search in that it’s all about finding relevant and useful results that are helpful to users.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com

Comments

  1. Great post Ryan.